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International Trade and Health Protection
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International Trade and Health Protection

A Critical Assessment of the WTO’s SPS Agreement

9781847206572 Edward Elgar Publishing
Tracey Epps, Trade Law Consultant, Chapman Tripp, New Zealand
Publication Date: 2008 ISBN: 978 1 84720 657 2 Extent: 368 pp
This book examines and critiques the WTO’s Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement), asking whether it strikes an appropriate balance between conflicting domestic health protection and trade liberalization objectives.

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Critical Acclaim
Contents
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This book examines and critiques the WTO’s Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement), asking whether it strikes an appropriate balance between conflicting domestic health protection and trade liberalization objectives. It pays particular attention to situations likely to occur but not yet fully examined either in the literature or in WTO law; most importantly, where public opinion demands regulation in the face of scientific uncertainty as to the existence or otherwise of a health risk. Tracey Epps concludes that the SPS Agreement’s science-based framework is capable of dealing with the differing objectives of health and trade, and that it provides countries with more flexibility to respond to scientific uncertainties and public sentiment than many critics contend. This conclusion is strongly influenced by a positive analysis of domestic regulatory decision-making, which finds potential for regulatory capture by domestic protectionist interests and thus emphasizes the importance of ensuring that decisions are made on a sound and principled basis.

Including a historical overview of disputes over trade and health since the 1800s, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of and new perspective on an important area of intersection between international trade law and domestic policy. It will be of interest to a wide-ranging audience including legal and non-legal academics, policy makers and analysts in the field of risk regulation, trade law practitioners in governments, and lawyers and analysts in international institutions.
Critical Acclaim
‘This detailed and fully referenced text is a valuable resource both for practitioners and academics.’
– Michael Blakeney, International Trade Law and Regulation

‘Interspersing law with societal context, this volume by Dr Epps stands out among WTO analysis. The author offers a delightfully balanced view on the nature and origin of SPS measures (including references to history) whilst at the same time mastering the hard law of the SPS Agreement in detail. Practitioners will enjoy the detailed analysis of WTO dispute settlement. A reference book for practice and academia, and also a very, very good read.’
– Geert Van Calster, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium
Contents
Contents: Part I: Background and Overview 1. Introduction 2. What’s Health Got to do With It? The Linkage between Health and International Trade 3. Through the (Historical) Looking-Glass: Health and Trade in Context 4. Looking to the Future: Forces of Change Part II: Health and Trade: Conflicting Objectives? 5. Foundations of Tension between Health Protection and Trade Liberalization 6. Identifying Tension: The ‘Difficult’ (or ‘Amber’) Cases 7. Resolving the Tension: Balancing Trade and Health Objectives in the WTO Part III: Regulating to Protect Health: Where and How? 8. Setting the Standards: Home or Away? 9. Perception of Risks: The Role of Public Perceptions 10. Analysis of Risks: The Role of Science Part IV: The WTO: Rules and Cases 11. A Science-based Approach 12. The Facts of the Health Cases 13. Analysis of the Health Cases Part V: Conclusion 14. Conclusion Bibliography Index
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